Life Through The Eyes Of Shakespeare

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

(Hamlet Act 1, Scene 3)

I probably could guess what my high school english teachers would say about my grasp on the writings of the one and only William Shakespeare, more than likely poor would be the answer.

For as long as I can remember I had a deep inner need to feel accepted.  Maybe, that is a given for any number of men, women, boys, and girls.  Try as I must I felt I could never live up to standards of those around me.

It was the same when I was active in ministry.  Oh, I could hold my own in the music department, but when it came to standing behind the pulpit I felt inadequate.  I strived to master my technique in the delivering of my messages. Yet, at times I felt so out of place.

This feeling of being out of place became quite intense when I first started experiencing panic attacks.  From this, all manner of other things seemed to flow.  I found myself becoming quite reclusive.  It was the complete opposite of my character as a Gospel musician and minister of the Word.  Back then I was not bothered by being out front of a crowd.  Now I totally become nauseous at the thoughts of being in a crowd.

I have been battling and am still battling some inner conflicts.  Conflicts that stemmed from all I was raised to believe.  This is why I made the decision to leave full time ministry.

Maybe, William understood this internal battle of needing acceptance of being true to oneself.  We can feel it through all his writings.

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

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  1. Angie

    I had been “numbing out” for many years (probably almost 30 years) and when I started “discovering” these things called feelings is when my panic attacks really started getting bad. It seemed the more I tried to accept my true self and feelings in the beginning the worse I got. It always gets worse before it gets better though. When I go to work though I’m a different person, very outgoing and confident in my decisions. It’s strange how different roles and different times can bring out different parts of us.
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Linda Vogt Turner

      I’m an extrovert and I like being on stage or up front. I come alive in front of audiences. I don’t have panic attacks. But I get nervous in front of very accomplished speakers or singers. I’ll sing in a choir but I tense up singing a solo. The truth is. Singing is not my gift. I love to sing, but it takes too much practice and rehearsal to sing what others do just when they open their mouth. Now to be true to thyself … I think one has to follow one’s passion. When a person has a passion to study music …they will practice practice practice … and make sure they overcome every weakness or nervousness that comes their way.

      My passion is writing and presenting papers at conferences.? I don’t like speaking extemporaneously. And I used to stress that I couldn’t do that kind of speaking. So I practice doing that in smaller groups and rely on written well rehearsed scripts for formal talks.

      Appreciation from others makes any effort worthwhile too. If one has been raised in a critical family where praise and words of appreciation were withheld…fear of not measuring up would cripple one.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Rethinking Scripture

        I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t singing Gospel in front of people. I can thank my maternal grandfather for that. He was a guitarist. We sang Bluegrass Gospel. When he died it fel uoon me to become the church’s musician.
        I use to be able to preach at the drop of the hat. The last time I spoke was when I gave the Eulogy for my mother’s celebration of life.
        As of this moment I am not sure I could do either.
        Maybe the singing part of it along with playing the piano. I can totally get lost while playing. I have a home organ which I will sit at and just play.
        With health issues I cannot forsee myself venturing back into full time singing and speaking.
        It’s funny how life can twist and turn throughout time!
        Excuse me if I seem to be rambling. Just a few thoughts that I would share with you.


  2. V

    Honestly, when you’re in high school Shakespeare sounds so convoluted and weird. But, as you get older you realize how much the words resonate with you.

    Something I’ve never been able to properly deal with, how do you deal with panic attacks?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rethinking Scripture

      V, I think everyone has a different technique when it comes to dealing with panic attacks. Mine is I stop whatever I am doing, start a deep breathing pattern and wait until my body is calm again.

      Liked by 1 person

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